Why? Names are powerful and convey our identity. And as such, what we choose to call ourselves or our loved ones often evolves over time. Kristen Mara is me: through maiden name, married name and back again, Kristen Mara has remained unaltered and solely mine.Naming my brand with my own brings this creative endeavor back to a personal place, where it originates.
Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements. Napoleon Hill
As summer winds down, I say our Summer Visions Necklace is your perfect choice as a talisman to hold your visions and dreams close. This is the decision I made this summer…
Isn’t it fun to choose to simply have more.... fun? I’ve discovered when that involves making time for your kids it’s even better. I put my visions of a relaxing, enjoyable summer with my son and daughter first and foremost this summer and that truly did serve as a blueprint for an ultimate achievement.
My son heads off to his first year of high school tomorrow. It's a milestone I saw coming... and it made the reality how quickly they are growing up hit home. I rearranged my schedule to spend as much time off with them hiking, hanging out, or (joyfully) weeding and picking veggies in the garden, shoulder to shoulder - haha.
yes, silly is our middle name...
The decision to err on the side of more play time vs. work time is one I consciously make on a regular basis, but I went to extra lengths this summer. And it was an achievement of the best kind. Just having the space of time to be together and live life.
we even traveled to see my brother in Seattle
- and of course visited Pike Place Market!
Be sure to browse our collection for a perfect talisman that can travel with you into coming fall and keep your best summer memories close.
And please leave a comment below and tell us about how you routinely add more fun to your life!
What does handmade really mean anyway? It means that someone's hands have cajoled a design into being: from idea to finished piece.
Every piece that goes into making my jewelry is created, held, supported, buffed, polished, grasped, twisted, turned, rearranged and placed by hand from start to finished piece of jewelry.
Watch my hands creating a custom pendant for little Lola's mama, on the occasion of Lola's first birthday. This is made from PMC which, as you can see, is worked like earthenware clay, fired in a kiln, and hand finished to produce a beautiful fine silver - 99% pure silver - piece.
Enjoy the video, leave a comment below and be sure to head on over to our shop and see all of our handmade designs.
You never quite know when the artistic muse and inspiration will strike, but it is always good to be prepared to go with it...
The story of my artistic journey is rooted in Libya and my family’s adventures while living there in my young childhood. The abandoned, ancient ruins of Roman cites, the desert we explored and the treasures we found there -Roman coins, arrowheads and petrified shells yielded up by the shifting sands - all shaped my preferences for simple forms and organic textures.
My memories of the Bedouin and Arab women with stacks of silver bracelets and blue tattoos sparked my fascination with personal adornment, and I still can hear the jingling sounds of silver and see their hoop earrings swaying and glinting in the sun.
While my nuclear family was globe trotting my extended family lived in the American west. Visiting my grandparents’ small ranch meant Grandpa’s scuffed brown cowboy boots and Grandma’s high heeled red ones. It also meant real sage brush, high blue skies, western saddles and best of all, horses. A horse-lovers dream!
Grandpa with Blaze and Peanuts
When I fell in love with jewelry making as an art form, it was really with the metal itself, silver. I chose 'Silver’ to honor both the material that inspired this creative business adventure, and my formative years as an artist: my tangible and vivid memories of the bejeweled desert women. I roped in ‘Ranch’ as a tribute to the frontier, cowboy lifestyle part of my heritage and my own still horse-crazy dreams of owning my own little herd someday.
So, how does the picture tell the story?
The boots I am wearing were my grandfathers (he is still a young 93). The rug you see - that graces my living room floor - is from Libya, one of the first that my parents bought during our years there. And the bangles of course are one of my most popular designs and directly inspired by the beautiful women I remember from childhood.
And that, my friends, is the story of Silver Ranch!
Leave a comment below and be sure look for hints of the story while you shop the collection.
|| ...because human beings are possessed of something special, something extra, something unnecessarily rich, something that the novelist Marilynne Robinson calls an "over abundance that is magical.”|| Elizabeth Gilbert ~ Teardrops and green garnet and soft squares with moonstone earrings in bronze, now delivered to @unoallavolta for their spring catalogs. We are happy to be included in the roundup of such talented artisans!
Are you curious about my jewelry making process? This is part of the story. The alchemy part: when I have a whole new batch of castings on my bench. These are the raw pieces cast from my original designs that I create with traditional metal working techniques, or with a special material called PMC (Precious Metal Clay).
The transformation process is always like a miracle! The casts go from a fuzzy looking, bumpy, awkward state to softly glowing shapes of sterling silver or bronze. Preparing the casts requires sawing, grinding, polishing through a series of grits to gradually smooth the metal to the finish that I require to make beautiful designs for you.
Take a look!
Fresh from the molds. Go here to see which earrings these pieces transform into.
Grinding and round one of polishing done. See the final pieces.
Leave a comment below and let me know how you like the story behind the story, and let me know if you want to hear more.